January 31st, 2008 by David E. Williams of the Health business blog
Cook Medical makes the Surgisis ES graft, used in surgical treatment of Peyronie’s disease, aka penile curvature. The company has posted a new patient and physician information website, and is attempting to introduce social networking into the mix. It’s a delicate subject to say the least. The problem is usually caused by trauma during sexual intercourse, and the resulting penile curvature can be painful for both the man and his partner. It can lead to inability to have an erection, too.
The website is presented very professionally and carefully. There’s none of the pharma-style, “Ask your doctor if Surgisis ES is right for you,” although the patient is certainly led in that direction, if subtly.
The interesting aspect of the site is the Peyronie’s Q&A Forum, which is billed as a social networking tool for patients, partners, physicians and others. So far there is really nothing posted and I wonder whether that will change over time. I have a difficult time understanding how this is going to work without some serious moderation and encouragement from Cook and others. There will have to be enough added value to make it worthwhile to participate in such a forum on a manufacturer’s site. There is already a Peyronie’s Disease Society Forum that appears to be quite active. It’s a private forum so I don’t know whether Cook is already active there. They may find that a productive place to participate, assuming they are allowed to do so.
I can’t really comment on whether the physician forum is likely to succeed, although it will likely be an uphill battle.